The African continent has been hit by a military coup again. Sudan is in a state of uncertainty after the military took power Monday, October 25, 2021. Coup leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan told reporters that military actions were being taken to secure the country. He justified his actions by blaming the civil government's political conflict. Civilian and military leaders have been at loggerheads since the long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was toppled in 2019. Last September, in Sudan there was an attempted coup by the military, but it was thwarted.
Civil society, especially the youth, regards General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan's rhetoric as a lie. Protests sprang up, not only in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, but also in several other places. Protesters barricaded the road, causing clashes with soldiers. As a result, seven protesters were reportedly killed and hundreds injured. The army is said to have acted tough to contain the protests.
Sudan's military seized power as the country is in transition after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir two years ago. To fill the transition period until the elections are held, a military-civilian Sovereign Council has been formed which is planned to lead Sudan to become a democratic country. During the transition period, Sudan has appointed Abdalla Hamdok, an economist, as Prime Minister. Now, with the military taking power, general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has dissolved the Sovereign Council. PM Hamdok and his wife, as well as multiple government ministers and officials, were detained on Monday, and later returned to their residence on Tuesday, according to a source with Sudan Prime Minister Office and a military source. It was not clear whether Hamdok and his wife are able to move freely after they returned to their home, or whether other government ministers and officials are also let go or still detained.
The military coup in Sudan has sparked international reactions. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the coup and called for the release of the prime minister and other officials. The European Union has "strongly condemned" the coup and stressed the "serious consequences" for the EU's engagement with Sudan, including its financial support, unless the situation is reversed immediately. Meanwhile, the United States withheld aid funds amounting to 700 million dollars, as a form of protest over the Sudanese coup. White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated that the United States rejected a military coup and called for the immediate release of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
It is still uncertain what the next situation will be in Sudan after the military coup. Reflecting on the military coup in Myanmar, there is still a long way to go. During that time, violence will still occur with many victims and not small economic losses. In the end, it is the people of Sudan who will feel the negative impact.